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Apple Makes Highly Eccentric Hire

Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch to be VP of technology and reportedly coordinate its hardware and software teams

Apple polished its reputation as a contrarian Tuesday when the news broke because of an SEC filing that it had hired Adobe's CTO Kevin Lynch to be VP of technology and reportedly coordinate its hardware and software teams.

Adobe confirmed his departure effective Friday, March 22.

He will report to SVP Bob Mansfield, Apple's core hardware maven, who leads Apple's Technologies Group, which includes its wireless and semiconductor interests. Provocatively Mansfield is scheduled to retire from Apple for the second time next year.

Lynch, a Macromedia legacy, violently backed Mobile Flash to the hilt as a sine qua non platform long after Steve Jobs famously blasted the widgetry's reliability, security, performance and battery life problems, chalking it up as bad, inelegant software and barring it from the iPhone and the iPad.

The news of Lynch going to Apple lit up the blogosphere but left the question of why Apple hired him unanswered.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber dismissed him as a "bozo" - a Jobs word - and "a bad hire."

Most people were left scratching their heads over what exactly Lynch, a software guy, is going to do at Apple. imore.com was left saying "Why him, why there, and what's the plan?"

Perhaps Apple wants him for his experience with Adobe's Creative Cloud.

Mac Observer, wrestling with the fact that Lynch championed Flash while the rest of the technology world was moving on, remarked that "if his public support was just part of his job, that's understandable. If he genuinely believed, however, that Flash was the future of online media and that the platform wasn't in trouble that could be a problem for Apple in that he could throw his resources at the wrong projects."

It's keeping a wait-and-see stance on whether he'll work out or be a black mark against Apple CEO Tim Cook along with Mark Papermaster of IBM, who was hired to run chips and quickly fired and John Browett of Dixons, who was hired to run retail and fired in short order.

Anyway, Adobe, which killed Mobile Flash shortly after Jobs died in 2011 and has since cozied up to the preferred HTML 5, won't be replacing Lynch. Instead the CTO mantle will be retired.

It said responsibility for technology development will descend on the heads of Adobe's business units under CEO Shantanu Narayen. Bryan Lamkin, who recently returned to Adobe, will take responsibility for cross-company research and technology initiatives as well as corporate development.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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